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Any hope for my 35 yr. old tree?

Posted by deb479 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 31, 08 at 14:39

Hello everyone - I live in Zone 5a. Last year at this time we experienced the widespread killer freeze that hit many midwestern states. I've just had the heart-wrenching realization that my beloved 35 year old Japanese maple seems to be completely dead. I can find no green wood, no buds, the bark has split and is peeling off in several places. I've gradually been pruning more and more until today I removed an entire very large (4 in. diameter) limb with no life found.

Can anyone say whether there is any hope for this tree at all - are the roots still likely to be alive, is there anything that might save it?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Any hope for my 35 yr. old tree?

Hummm interesting ...need more info ..did it leaf out last year ...if so all summer and how much... you live in 5a that is strange you are pretty far noth to have that sort of damage from last spring mostr in 5a zone were not leafed out or out not that far and the sap was not at peak run for bark damage...most folks that far north were untouched unless you are in one of those weird zones that zig zag... where do you live?? Bark slit is a bad sign ... For a tree that age to kaput from last spring in your zone would beg the question of how healthy it was in the first place which as I see it is a big reason it possiblly would have been so damaged. Please give more info also whether it was a dissectum or not or a generally early leafing tree.BTW none of my older trees were severly damaged not even my large dissectum about 14 years old... leaf damge yes but not bark and although sparce last summer that was because of seconday buds only survived.and theorectically I was in a more advanced area than you ..David

RE: Any hope for my 35 yr. old tree?

You should wait another month to see what happens, nothing you can do.

RE: Any hope for my 35 yr. old tree?


I agree with Dave on this. Last year's freeze hit the south and lower Midwest the worst. Why this occurred is that the temps in March got so high for a couple of weeks and then there was a sudden inexplicable freeze in April. This killed off many JMs. Where I live (border 5a 5b country) it never got warm in March so my JMs didn't see any of this. I think maybe there is something else going on with your tree.


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